Leveraging your Silver and your Rock

Business transformation is both an opportunity and a risk. Transformational Change can lead to exponential growth, but can also trigger societal opposition, bankruptcy, and in a worst-case scenario, obsolescence. How do you know what to transform, and when?

At Silver Rock Consulting we think about transformation with our clients every day. We use our company’s name to frame the conversation around transformation:

  • Rock – the parts of your organization that are core to who you are including your competencies, values, legacy, success elements of your heritage. Occasionally, these may experience transformation but more often than not, they will remain the same and they serve as the North Star by which you plot the rest of your strategy, and the foundation upon which your company is built.
  • Silver – the parts of your organization that are being refined and transformed to shine a better light on your core and reflect your brilliance. As you or your organization experience the heat of change silver is refined as you transform.

We use “silver” and “rock” to help teams understand the fences within which transformation can take place. In 2018 Silver Rock was helping a major health care provider transform and grow one of its key service lines. This line served as part of the bedrock of the organization and was an important priority to senior leadership. Part of the core DNA of the organization led them to serve all populations regardless of patient ability to pay.

The leaders and influencers participating in the Silver Rock Strategic Growth Transformation process (to be discussed in a later blog) were working through how to grow the businesses, while remaining true to their core values. The breakthrough came when the team anchored their strategies on the core elements of their heritage. After reminding themselves of their vision and aligning the strategy’s direction with the organizational vision, the team quickly settled on the strategic growth framework. Their vision was their rock, but the growth strategy with which they honored that heritage was their silver.

Simon Sinek talks about having an infinite vision that cannot be swayed by the tides of external pressure.  At Silver Rock we work to help entities and individuals identify their infinite visions, and what can change and transform around it.

Are you experiencing the pressure of transformation? Join us for a conversation to explore where we might be able to help you refine your silver, unveil your core “rock”, and evolve into your New Next.


Written by Jacob Hamalian (October 30, 2019)


In business, change is constant. As a leader, if you are not regularly considering how to transform and adapt, you are risking organizational obsolescence. At Silver Rock Consulting we use business transformation to describe “the fundamental reimagining and shift from one form of existence and operation to your New Next.”

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Scott Anthony (click here) described three kinds of transformation:

  1. Operational Transformation – “doing what you are currently doing, better, faster, or cheaper”
    (e.g. a traditional brick and mortar company selling online)
  1. Operational Model Transformation – at Silver Rock we call this Business Model Transformation – “doing what you are currently doing in a fundamentally different way.”
    (e.g. a Healthcare company determining what kind of a relationship it wants to have with its customers, and the experiences needed to foster that relationship)
  1. Strategic Transformation – “changing the very essence of a company”
    (e.g. an organization shifting from a driver of profit to a provider of a social good)

Each type of transformation plays a role in the life of a company and its stakeholders, whether for today, or 10 years from today.

As you consider transforming your organization, there are a number of key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What is driving transformation? This is the “Why” of the transformation. The motivation behind the effort to transform your organization can provide clues as to the type of transformation needed and help you answer some of the other questions below.
  • What type of transformation is necessary? Considering the kind of transformation needed can help you;
    1. Efficiently apply resources that are commensurate to the opportunity and challenge. Your company cannot afford to transform your whole organization every 6 months, and when you are ready to transform you will need to ensure that you have freed the needed resources (time, talent, treasure) to guarantee a successful transformation.
    2. Ensure the appropriate bridging between transformational types. Often one type of transformation begets the other and there is a need for integrating and sequencing the two. An out of sync process can unravel the effort.
  • What will tomorrow bring? This is the futurist view. It is a given that all transformation must be market-driven. Not just in response to current trends but forward looking to remain market-relevant and desirable.
  • Who needs a seat at the decision table and why? The dimensions of influence and power are rarely all concentrated in the same few people. One key consideration here is: some of your team members are transformational players, while others are transitional players. On your team you want folks who are forward thinkers, have deep institutional knowledge, are the drivers of change, have influence, or are doers.  We will discuss this further in the weeks to come.

The hardest part about transformation is rarely uncovering where you want to go, but helping employees and team members make the heart-shift and mind-shift needed to join the effort and move the ship in the agreed-upon direction. The more strategic your transformation the more important it is to invest in the mind and heart paradigm shift.

In our next Silver Rock blog, we will talk about the juxtaposition and tension in transformation between innovating and protecting the core.

Reimagine your New NextTM

Written by Karen Hung (October 2, 2019)